Katie Taylor has achieved some amazing things but 2022 could be the greatest 12 months of her incredible career.
Promoter Eddie Hearn has said he is very close to rubber stamping Katie’s massive fight with Amanda Serrano at Madison Square Garden. He’s already said they’ll fight twice this year, which is super exciting for women’s boxing — and boxing as a whole.
Katie has already won Olympic gold, become undisputed world lightweight champion and won a world title at light-welterweight. Now she’s set to face Serrano who has won titles at lightweight, super-bantam, super-fly, light-welter, super-feather and is featherweight queen.
For that fight I hope that three-minute rounds are finally brought into women’s boxing because having two-minute is like having a different sport altogether.
People often say — and I agree — that there’s a big difference between amateur and professional boxing and one of the reasons is how short the bouts are. Having two-minute rounds for a 10-round Championship fight is like a long amateur bout. I feel it would help women’s boxing to have three-minute rounds and what a way to introduce it with Katie against Serrano — one of the biggest women’s fights ever.
Katie’s 35 now and I think it would be the ideal scenario to see her beat Serrano twice and then step up to bid to become the undisputed light-welterweight champion. I’d love to see her leave the ring undefeated as a professional and leave behind an amazing legacy. To be an undisputed world champion at two weights would be an incredible feat. At the moment there’s a tournament going on that will lead to an undisputed light-welter champion and I expect that to be my former gym-mate Chantelle Cameron.
If Katie can have three massive fights like that, I can’t see what else she would have left to achieve and by that stage she would be 36 so it would seem like the perfect time to leave. It says a lot about the Serrano fight that Madison Square Garden, according to Hearn, are asking him for the right to stage it. They know how big it’s going to be.
I’ve no doubt the atmosphere will be amazing and it would be great to be there because I love watching Katie fight. I was there when she won Olympic gold in London and it was one of the best atmospheres I’ve experienced. It said everything about how well liked she is.
Katie’s quiet and not the most charismatic but she’s a good, humble human being who can fight. When we were on the High Performance team together we would do some school sparring — that’s where you box to instructions from the coach. That’s when I realised just how quick she was.
Katie is women’s boxing and so many have come through on the back of her. I know in the past we had some good women’s boxers, but nobody seems to have had the impact Katie’s had.
Serrano is a huge name and it’s been amazing how she has gone through the weight classes, up and down winning world titles. That’s what makes this so big — you have two huge names who have achieved so much and want more.
I’m not going to make my pick just yet, I’ll wait until closer the time, but it’ll be a great one and I hope the start of an amazing year for Katie.
What a mess tennis legend Novak Djokovic found himself in and what a shame he ended up being deported from Australia.
Djokovic shot himself in the foot because he lied on his visa form when saying he hadn’t travelled within 14 days of going to Australia when he had gone to Spain. That was after he had clearly been told he could play in the event.
At the start of the whole saga I thought he was being harshly treated and there was a lot of politics going on with Djokovic being used a bit of a pawn. But then when it became clear his Visa form had been filled in wrongly then I feel it was right to deport him.
But, I would say that it was wrong for some to suggest he should get the vaccine to sort the whole thing out. Nobody should he forced to get the vaccine. That should be a personal choice.
If I was Anthony Joshua, I would be starting to worry about my chances of winning the world heavyweight title back from Oleksandr Usyk.
After the defeat to Usyk last September, I thought right away that he needed a change of coaching set-up because the advice he was getting from the corner was just wrong.
He was trying to outbox Usyk when he should have been going right at him and bullying him.
It seems that he is doing a lot of training away from his usual camp in Sheffield where Robert McCracken is based, but it hasn’t been a clean break and that could be a real problem because you end up with too many voices in the team and that simply confuses matters.
A blind man can see what the tactics need to be against Usyk when the rematch comes around — Joshua has to go in and steamroller him.
It’s a bit like when Tyson Fury moved away from Ben Davison for the second fight with Deontay Wilder.
He went to Sugarhill Steward because he changed tactics and had to be much more aggressive, and it paid off for him.
Joshua needs to get his head clear and decide who is guiding him for this rematch against Usyk, otherwise he simply won’t be world champion again.
Shakur Stevenson and Oscar Valdez are close to agreeing one of the fights of the year in a unification super-featherweight battle.
Stevenson defeated Jamel Herring to win the WBO super-featherweight title and Valdez has the WBC title. Stevenson will be the favourite but Valdez has top coach Eddy Reynoso in his corner and he has already made a big difference to the Mexican.
When Valdez went in against Miguel Berchelt he was the underdog but pulled off a brilliant performance and one of the knockouts of 2021. I can’t wait for this one to get signed off because it will be a cracker.